The administration at East High School is still holding out hope that All-American running back Seven McGee will be able to return to the field this season.
Section V, working off guidelines established by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, ruled McGee was ineligible on Thursday due to not receiving the necessary information from Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California.
McGee was on the field catching passes about an hour prior to East’s season opener against Eastridge on Friday and led the team onto the field before the game. Eastridge defeated East, 26-21.
East Superintendent Shaun Nelms indicated the school was surprised by the decision, but plans to appeal to Section V. If the section declines to reverse the decision, then the appeal would then head to the NYSPHSAA level.
“We submitted the paperwork last week for him to be eligible to play. Before that. we had done some background work to make sure we understood the bylaws and the policy,” Nelms said. “(We) got our legal team to do that. Once that was done, we submitted the paperwork, really thinking it was going to be an easy decision.”
“Section V is responsible for making eligibility rulings that are consistent, fair and equitable for all students who participate in interscholastic athletics,” Section V Executive Director Kathy Hoyt said. “Rulings are made based upon information provided by the member school. It is imperative for appropriate information to be provided to our panel to ensure all students are treated in a fair manner.”
Nelms was adamant that East had done all of its homework, but there was one last piece of information the section needed to clear him.